This past Sunday the entire Fatal Downflaw staff – all three of us! – made a pilgrimage across the river to Newport, Kentucky to enjoy the rich and frequently perplexing bounty of Goettafest. What is Goettafest, you ask? Why, it’s a celebration of all things goetta! And what is goetta, you ask after a slight pause so as not to seem too nosy? You’re clearly not from around these parts.
This, frankly, pornographic description of goetta comes from the website of Glier’s Goetta, the sponsor of Goettafest:
THIS IS GOETTA.
The patties begin to sizzle. The pin oats swell and pop. The spices throughout the gloriously married pork and beef infuse the atmosphere. And the corners of your brain turn up to a grin. While the crumbles dance in the hot pan, the rounds color to a golden brown, and your tongue puddles with anticipation. The final patty is flipped unveiling a brilliant batch of toasted treasures. The belly roars.
THIS IS GOETTA.
Your fork breaks the delicate crisp and moves carefully through the creamy middle of the morning circle. Every bite sends you deeper into total sensory engagement, and allows the mind to skip through the collection of stories that decorate your family’s history and your own. In a moment you are at your grandma’s counter enveloped in tales of her grandma’s kitchen. Your heart sings.
THIS IS GOETTA.
The pure enjoyment you draw from each tender-crisp forkful testifies to the power of passion. Your delight drives that passion. And the contribution of your experience makes richer the fabric that forms the heritage and legend. This is the end of boring breakfast. This is the return to what matters. The return to what inspires. The return to what is right and good and real and delicious.
THIS IS GOETTA.
Sexy, ain’t it?
To boil it down, Goettafest was a bunch of tents on the Newport Levee, each representing a local eating establishment, and each offering a unique goetta delicacy. Some were spectacular triumphs. Some were perplexing at best. And some were unrepentant abominations that make the world a darker place by their mere existence. Come with us now on a journey of discovery and heartburn…
[Editor’s note: all of the pictures below can be clicked if you want to see a bigger, far more horrible version.]
The first and most important landmark of Goettafest is the legendary Goetta Vending Machine.
Sadly, the machine was out of order. But you can tell just by looking at it how magnificent it would have been had it been working properly. I honestly don’t know why they don’t have one of these in every public building in Cincinnati.
After a period of mourning the lack of automated goetta delivery, we set about trying our first treat: goetta rangoon.
That’s right, this is a wonton stuffed with cream cheese and goetta. And it was fucking incredible. It was generally agreed that this was the best thing we had all day, and it was the very first thing we put in our mouths. As with everything we do, we peaked early.
The next dish was goetta balls. That’s right, goetta balls. Here are just a few of the jokes we already made to save you the time and effort:
- “Gonna put these balls in my mouth.”
- “Damn…these balls are hot!”
- “Mmm…I love the creamy center of these balls.”
These were also delicious. They were super hot, right out of the deep fryer, so we had to eat those balls slow. But we here at Fatal Downflaw have a sacred rule: never neglect the balls.
After we devoured the balls, as their juice dribbled down our chins, we made our way to a booth offering goetta chilitos. That’s goetta and chili wrapped in a tortilla with cheese. A note for those of you unfamiliar with Cincinnati chili: what we eat here is not like your inferior Tex/Mex nonsense. In the Queen City, our chili is made with cinnamon and cocoa and served over spaghetti. Because that’s how god intended it, you fucking heathens. This is what a goetta chilito looks like:
And this is what Andy looks like when he’s not quite sure whether he likes a goetta chilito or not:
And this is what Sarah looks like with a goetta chilito in her mouth:
The verdict? Andy’s quote: “This is wholly unprecedented in my experience of food.” We decided it was pretty good, except when you got a bite with a lot of cheese in it. Apparently, cheese and goetta do not go well together. Keeping that caveat in mind (for about ten minutes), we went off in search of the elusive goetta corndog.
After a proper ceremonial wielding…
…everyone took a taste of the corndog:
We liked the goetta corndog a lot, though there were some complications. As you can see by the picture below (in which Sarah dramatically directs you to the restroom), this motherfucker hides a nasty, sharp surprise.
As the corndog settled, Zac went in search of something that was not deep-fried because he’s “healthy” or some shit like that. We didn’t bother taking pictures of his stupid veggie noodles because we weren’t at fucking Veggie Noodlefest. What we did take pictures of, though, were some goetta memorabilia:
Then we grabbed another beer…
…and settled in to watch The Cincy Brass Band, a New Orleans-style instrumental outfit whose more baffling covers that night included Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance”, Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs” and Beyonce’s “Crazy in Love”. We loved them so hard. They are now the official favorite band of Fatal Downflaw. We want them to play at all of our weddings and bar mitzvahs. Andy wanted to throw his underwear at the stage, but couldn’t find a convenient place to take them off without horrifying hundreds of people who were trying to eat. We didn’t get any pictures of the band (we’re not entirely sure they want this kind of publicity), but we did get pictures of this awesome old guy who was dancing to them:
When the band took a break, we geared up for more eating.
Since we, collectively, have the memory of a brain-damaged goldfish, it completely slipped our minds that we had previously discovered a negative correlation between goetta and cheese. Therefore, at Andy’s insistence, we gave goetta nachos a shot.
These were not so good. Despite Sarah’s fanatical devotion to plastic cheese, she had a hard time choking them down. They did get eaten though (minus the crappy canned jalapenos), and Sarah offered Zac the last, laden nacho…
…which he stoutly refused. We were just about ready to hit the road, but decided that perhaps a dessert was in order. Yes, a dessert made with breakfast sausage. In retrospect, we probably should have known that this was the absolute worst decision we would make in our long, illustrious careers of terrible choices. But at the moment, an apple goetta tart sounded like a pretty damned tasty way to end the day.
We were wrong.
Really, really wrong.
As we left, our taste buds between our legs, Zac took a moment to reflect on how glad he was that he gave up after the goetta corndog.
Then we posed for what was certainly the most appropriate prom picture ever.
In all, it was a day of wonderment and discovery, and some truly fucking foul dessert. If you want to see more pictures, they will be uploaded to the Fatal Downflaw Facebook page. Though why you would want to see any more of this is beyond a mystery to us.